Radio communications have surprising influence on Earth's near-space environment

20 May, 2017, 09:50 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • Radio communications have surprising influence on Earth's near-space environment

A new study has found that these tests triggered changes in Earth's magnetic environment similar to those resulting from naturally-occurring space weather, when the sun sends high-energy particles streaming toward the magnetosphere. But the data could help NASA protect astronauts and satellites from space radiation. These are all names of nuclear tests the US ran in the 1950s and '60s. While the tests have long since ended, today they continue to provide crucial information on how humans can affect space.

"The tests were a human-generated and extreme example of some of the space weather effects frequently caused by the sun", said Phil Erickson, assistant director at MIT's Haystack Observatory, Westford, Massachusetts, and co-author on the paper. Now scientists at NASA have discovered that we have also been shaping our near-space environments with radio signals. Everything that's happening on Earth has its effect in space, too.

One of NASA's powerful Earth-observing satellites has tracked down a massive "Bubble" contiguous to the Planet Earth, and scientists have named it as "Manmade Space Weather".

The latest is a bubble around the Earth, seen even by spacecraft high above Earth's surface, such as Nasa's Van Allen Probes, which, scientists say, is the impact of such radio communications that extend out beyond our atmosphere, Nasa's Van Allen Probes, which study electrons and ions in the near-Earth environment, have revealed. The Cold War tests, which exploded explosives at statures from 16 to 250 miles over the surface, copied some of these normal impacts. These particles, alongside electromagnetic field that goes with them, can likewise bring about auroras, while changes in the attractive field can initiate streams that harm control frameworks. This made a geomagnetic unsettling influence, which mutilated Earth's magnetic field lines and prompted an electric field at first glance. The artificially trapped charged particles remained in significant numbers for weeks, and in one case, years. [Image by Dariush M/Shutterstock] The research also showed, according to Discover magazine, that an artificial version of the Van Allen belts was created from the plasma of the explosions of all the atmospheric nuclear bomb tests conducted by the USA and Russian Federation prior to 1963 (over 500). There are times when these interactions lead to the creation of a bubble which surrounds Earth and safeguards it from natural high energy particle radiation in space. These high-altitude probes could withstand the bombardment of solar radiation.

But now we have evidence that we also affect the vacuum of space around us.

On such test was the Teak test of August 1, 1958. The test was conducted over Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean.


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